Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has requested the support of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to help police with crime fighting in Gauteng and the Western Cape.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Minister lamented the insurgence of extremely violent crime that has made communities unsafe in these two provinces. The violence in recent months, the Minister said, involves the use of weapons of war in serious crimes, where even innocent by-standers and children have fallen victim to gang-related activities.
When I visited the community of Elsies River, one community leader referred to the terror caused by gangs as an act of terrorism. I want to tell the people of Elsies River that I [have] heard [them] and I am acting, Minister Mbalula said.
Gauteng as a whole and the Western CapeS specifically Cape Town, are being targeted.
The most recent incidents of increased violence and shooting incidents, and the increase in gangsterism activities in the Western Cape and Gauteng are becoming a matter of huge concern, said the Minister.
Crime fighting operations will focus on serious crimes including murder and attempted murder, robbery, assault, truck, car theft and high-jacking, rape, child abuse and neglect, abuse of controlled chemicals and drug-related crimes.
The Police Ministry said urgent steps must be taken to manage the current scourge of crime in general, drug-related offences and the negative impact this has on communities.
Minister Mbalula said while combating these crimes is within the mandate of the South African Police Service, he has requested the SANDF to help due to military training of some of the perpetrators.
We will never fail our people. We will squeeze the space for criminals, and we will liberate our people from prisons of fear, the Minister said.
This request still needs President Jacob Zuma's approval.
Source: South African Government News Agency